Andaya, Senate finance panel to tackle alleged budget tampering
MANILA, Philippines – House appropriations committee chairman Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. said he will meet with members of the Senate finance committee amid fresh allegations that part of the ratified budget has been tampered with by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
In a press briefing on Wednesday, Andaya said that he will be meeting with the Senate panel to “thresh out the problems.”
“The members of the Senate finance committee are meeting with me now after this press con[ference] so we will also try to thresh out the problems,” he said.
He noted he will also try to request for the disclosure of the authorship of all the amendments made by the Senate.
“I will also see kung mahihingi ko rin yung proponents ng lahat ng amendments ng Senado,” he said.
“We have no idea up to this point in time who were the proponents of the Senate amendments. We are also in the dark kung sino yung mga…kung kanino yung mga amendments, we also want to verify, ano ba talaga yung mga hiningi ng… mga senador dahil wala nga kaming listahan no’n,” he added.
This developed after Senator Panfilo Lacson claimed that Arroyo allegedly directed the realignments of P25 millio from the Department of Health for her “favored” congressmen.
In response, Andaya clarified that the House of Representatives is only itemizing the items in the appropriations under the ratified 2019 national budge to make it “more transparent and easy to scrutinize.”
The budget, which was ratified by both chambers of Congress last Feb. 8, is now awaiting the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte. / gsg
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